tv BBC World News PBS April 6, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
>> union bank offers unique insights and expertise in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." >> and gordon brown calls for an election. it is just a month away. >> the queen has kindly agreed to the distribution of parliament. a general election will take place on may 6. >> their promises to be an enthralling race. 3 first time contenders in a race that is too close to call.
welcome to the bbc world news. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. our other news. maoist leaders killed 75 paramilitary troops in india. it looks as they walked into a trap. seven bombings of seven buildings in baghdad in what looks like a deliberate attack on the shiite areas. two women are are arrested for trying to smuggle a dead relative onto a plane in liverpool. hello to you from downing street where a few hours ago the british prime minister stood with his cabinet and announce the date of an election not quite like any other in british
political history. there are weeks of hard campaigning ahead until the country votes on may 6. it could be the closest of -- closest vote in 20 years. it will make history. there are going to be tv debates between the party leaders for the first time. this is the first real social networking collection. all of this at a time when the electorate is very widespread. there is the scandal over mp expenses. the labor party is the traditional party of the left. it is seeking a fourth term in power. gordon brown took over the leadership for tony blair two years ago. on the right is the opposition conservative party known as the tory party led by david cameron. it is currently ahead in the polls.
neither the labor or the conservatives win a majority, they will be looking for an allegiance with leader dick. >> good morning, prime minister. >> he went by car. he made the short strip from downing street to buckingham palace to get this long- predicted show on the road. she detests -- she descended from the skies. she carried out one bank of her most important constitutional roles. once inside, they met for 21 minutes during which she agreed for the 15th time in her reign that parliament must once again be dissolved. mr. brown, after 13 years in power and more than 1000 days as prime minister returned to do something he has never done before. to ask the people, not just his
party, to elect him to national office. he said that while labour would secure their party, their opponents would put it at risk. >> i am looking for a clear and straight for a mandate to secure the recovery, the building are in the streets for the future, and creating a million skilled jobs over the next five years. >> he wanted the one team, not a team of one. over the river, the image was quite different. a man standing alone promising change. asking -- offering an alternative that would give hope to the great ignored people of the country. those who pay their taxes and obey the law and do the right thing. >> this country does so much better -- and deserve some much better than five more years of gordon brown.
let's get off this road to ruin and get on the road to prosperity and progress. >> others are promising change, too. the election was wide open. >> you have conservative and labour governments for 65 years doing the same old thing and making the same mistakes over and over again. the real choice in this election is between more of the same from labor and conservatives, or real change from the liberal democrats. and then they were off. scattering across britain to the constituencies they hope to win. testing their lives on voters who would determine their fate. back in westminster, the voters digested the news that the race had finally begun. it will dominate the headlines for the next 30 days. parliament will dissolve on monday and futures will be shed.
whatever results, there is going to be a flood of new mps here. >> we will return to the u.k. election a little bit later in the program. you can get more on any -- at any time on bbc.com. large parts of rio de janeiro are under water after lots of rain. there is a state of emergency. the city's mayor has told people to stay indoors. the transport system is close to collapse. 25 miners have been killed in an explosion in a coal mine in the united states. four others are missing in west virginia. rescue efforts have been suspended. hundreds of anti-government protesters stormed government
headquarters. authorities have no clear the building and they freed a regional governor and that is being held there. opposition leaders say that the demonstrators are still in control. it appears to be triggered by high utility prices and this -- dissatisfaction over corruption. there was a video posted on the internet that shows the killing of a group of people by force in fact that three years ago. it shows u.s. helicopter gunships firing on individuals identified by the pilots. there are indications that a van that coming to pick up the wood is fired on as well. " people were killed including two journalists. -- 12 people were killed including two journalists. the bloodiest ever attacked by maoist forces in india. this was in the central state
chhattisgarh. she reports now from delhi. >> they are being taken to hospitals after being evaluated by helicopter from the site of the attack. these men were part of the federal paramilitary unit which was ambushed while on patrol. maoist rebels opened fire and set off explosives as they tried to retreat. one reason why the fatalities were so high. even rescue teams sent in to bring them out came under fire. the attack, the deadliest ever, has shaken the government. >> something has gone very wrong. we seemed to have walked into a trap. casualties are quite high and i am deeply shocked.
i am sorry to those who love lost their lives. this shows the savage nature of the city. >> the maoists control a large piece of territory. it is an area that is mineral rich. it is untouched by the economic boom. local tribesmen support the rebels. the government has recently launched an offensive to flush them out. nearly 100,000 federal troops have been deployed and air support. the maoists have demonstrated that they can hit back. many are questioning whether the government underestimated their strength. >> in baghdad, at least 35
people have been killed and dozens injured by bombs in apartment buildings. these were in mainly shi'ite areas. iraq's politicians are wrangling about how to form a government after last week's elections. >> this is residential buildings in the north, central, and south of baghdad. four of the structures simply collapsed under the force of the blast. many people were buried under the rubble. these were the modest homes of ordinary people. many of them were bewildered by what had happened. virtually all of the bombs went off in areas mainly inhabited by shiites. that was the pattern four years ago when the attacks like these spurred a vicious cycle of sectarian violence.
the situation is different now than it was then. there are fears that putting together a government after the elections is putting to -- leaving a vacuum that the insurgents can exploit. it is not surprising that on the streets of baghdad there is a lot of anger and fear that there could be more to come. >> i hope -- i hold the government responsible for the bombings. we all went out to vote in the elections. now they're sitting there arguing over cabinet seats while people are dying. >> it is the neighboring countries are around us that are to blame. they do not want democracy to be stable here. a coordinated series of bomb attacks have target the first government buildings and then some of the big hotels. on sunday, foreign embassies and
now new homes. many are wondering what is next on the list. >> good to have you with us. stay with us you can. westminster is excited about the coming election, but what about the rest of the country? first, just a year ago, a huge earthquake hit an italian city. this was europe ' s biggest post-war natural disaster. >> this night they came voluntarily. victims of a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that destroyed lives and buildings in a 30-second blur of chaos. more than 300 people were killed. 600,000 were made homeless. this wiped out this medieval city and surrounding villages. it was europe's biggest postwar
natural disaster. the recovery operations baird many from unnecessary misery. -- spared many from unnecessary misery. 400,000 people are in hotels. many remain nervous. this student says in school everyone is scared whenever the bell rings. professors say that students are hysterical. this all changed. things are not the same anymore. with church services, there will come concerts' and other memorial events. this is also a place of some discontent. there have been demonstrations by residents, angry that it has taken so long. >> this is where people came to do their shopping and stroll around. now there is nothing.
we all walk by ourselves. it is sad. much of this center is still dangerous for people to move back. this could be a modern-day pompeii, frozen in time. the earthquake lasted a few seconds. the legacy has a magnitude all of its own. >> the latest headlines for you on the "bbc world news." just a few hours ago, gordon brown called for a general election on the sixth of may. other parties hope to end a decade of dominance by the labor party. maoist rebels in india ambushed a paramilitary patrol. politicians from all parties have been tried to get their message across. they have been trying since last
summer. what is the mood elsewhere in the country? he is in an area that could vote for any one of the three parties. >> the battle started miles away. in the mill towns, all three westminster party is a fancy their chances. they are choosing between pastry or bread. the voters can expect a much bigger list to work through. with the countdown begun, what do they expect to hear from politicians? >> he picked them up and they raise them. they all tell you what you want to hear. you want better education, you want a better national health service. nobody is going to disagree with that.
>> public services. why not just treat the voting public like adults. not like children. >> this area earned its fortunes from war. they know as much about tourism as industry. on board the water taxi was a man that was great talking. -- straight talking. >> you have to get your point across and do the things that you are promising. >> most of the people we spoke to had not decided which way they would vote. rather than policies and people, it was principles that seemed to matter. that idea of honesty could not be greater than when it comes to
the economy. this factory still has orders. like most places, some companies here have been swept away by the recession. there are different hopes that the election can deliver. >> i work here. like everybody else, i have a job to do for the country. i do not believe what they're telling us on the doorstep is going to materialize. the same way that the majority of the country has lost faith in the politicians. >> people do care about the election and the debate. trust is at the top of many people's wish lists. >> i am sticking to invest just outside of the british house of parliament. she is a columnist with a british newspaper. for all of the reasons i listed, this is going to be a historical collection. none of these parties have
average lead their party in a general election before. if labour or the liberal democrats get in, it would be a big upset. >> we were hearing about trust. that is going to be an important factor. i do not think the fact that none of them have done it before will necessarily make a difference. there will be and what of new voters as well. i do not think be a liberal bent of -- democrats are going to win. there is going to be the tv debates between the three winners. one on home issues, one on foreign affairs, and one on the economy. they are hiring people over from america and the obama campaign. they hope to do their very best. that could make a big
difference one of them looks at the other or it will make a big difference. he leads the liberal democrats. it will be important for him. apparently, some of the people from the obama campaign, they are training them. you get on kalanchoes. they talked for too long when they're rehearsing what they're going to say, they get a dreadful noise to make them shut up and try again. that is going to be quite exciting to watch. >> party leaders say that this is about who can safeguard the economy and preserve jobs while cutting the deficit. the dividing lines our taxation and spending cuts. giving how fed up the electorate seems to be, is that the
decider? >> i think the economy will be a crucial issue. i think it is going to be that you hear a lot of ordinary voters saying that they are all the same. that is going to be something that might put people off. one of the interesting things to watch is what the turnout is going to be like. in the last two elections, it has been very low. will the voters stay away? will they say, a plague on all of your houses. will they get labor out? there might be a lot of people that want to do that. we are point to have to make a real effort and come out and vote. you have a tightly run campaign -- if you have a tightly run campaign, that will make people
come out and vote and make a difference. we will have to wait and see. >> the columnist for the financial times. in the u.s., there have been televised presidential debates for decades. this will be the first time in the uk on prime time. it could make a difference, it could make no difference whatsoever. >> ever since a youthful kennedy beat a sweaty nixon, the tv debate has been an important part of the campaign. we have never had that kind of focus on the personality, the character, the tv skills of a leader until now. >> in close elections, tv debates could be the thing that wins or loses the election for one candidate or the other. >> get to your feet and tell us you have done nothing.
>> you expect the baier pet of the house of commons -- if you expect the bear pit of the house of commons or the heckling of another program, think again. >> they have agreed to a 76- point format. the audience will be asked not to clout. of the end of the program, the three leaders will shake hands. >> just like american presidential debates were candidates rehearse and rehearse and tried desperately not to make a gaffe. >> how they are going to react to questions. if there is a written -- and negative reaction, how are they going to shake their head? >> the most pressure may be on david cameron. ahead in the polls, he is expected to do well. gordon brown may feel like he has nothing to lose.
he has been afforded the same time and the status as the two bigger parties. >> let's go to washington now. she covered the last four u.k. elections. let's get a flavor of how different things may be on the other side of the pond. in a sense, the u.s. have a digital election in 2008. >> you now have the debates which is an american style of campaign tactic imported into your campaign. you have the digital out reached. they are so different. your election is compressed into five weeks at full throttle pace. many u.s. politicians might envy that. i still feel that u.k. elections are about free media and the battle of the headlines. here is about campaign advertisements.
that adds millions of dollars to the party's budgets. campaign fund raising is a real art. it really matters. the level of spending here is so much more than you get in the u.k. >> although the u.k. is small compared to the u.s., the party system is comparatively complex, is it not? >> small, but not simple. you have two main blocs. you are taught about the welsh and northern ireland assemblies, scottish parliament. a very different election from where you are. >> many thanks indeed for that. let's bring you this curiosity before we leave you. two women have been arrested after they tried to smuggle the body of a relative onto the plane at liverpool.
>> at around 11:00 on saturday morning, two women pushed a wheelchair into the terminal building at john lennon airport at liverpool. wearing sunglasses and sitting in the chair was jarant from germany. the women wanted to book him on a flight to berlin. as they approached the desk, staff noticed that something was wrong. he was dead. his stepdaughter and his widow brought him to the airport in a taxi. they told the bbc that they thought he was alive when he left their house. >> he is not dead. >> his eyes were closed. >> police believe he died on friday. they arrested both women and question them on the suspension for failing to give notification
of a death. they deny that they were trying to smuggle his dead body out of the country. >> we do not know how this can happen. >> the women are considering holding his funeral in britain rather than attempting to fly back to germany. the airport is assisting police with their inquiries and staff are very upset by the incident. >> that is it for now. things very much for being with us. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new honolulu. the newman's own foundation. macarthur foundation. and union bank.
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